By Dane Letcher
The University of Sydney’s highest governing body – the Senate – has voted in a secret meeting to “restructure” its faculties. This is despite protests and opposition from both the student and staff unions.
The secret meeting was held in December last year when student and staff representatives on the University Senate were on leave.
The so-called “restructure” is really just a means of cutting the number of faculties and slashing courses offered. Plans are in place to reduce courses from 122 to just 20 undergraduate degrees, and to decrease the faculties from 16 to 6.
The Senate has also underhandedly reduced the number of elected alumni and staff positions on the Senate itself. Presumably this is to undermine opposition to the cuts and pave the way for further moves towards a corporatized model in the future.
The restructure at the University of Sydney is part of a general trend – a shift to a ‘US style’ model of education that aims to maximise profits and minimise staff and options for students.
This lowers the quality of education offered and places further burdens on both students and staff. Protests against the Senate’s plans are expected to continue.